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Veteran councillor to step down from post this year

Coun Bill Shannon

Coun Bill Shannon

The leader of Preston’s Liberal Democrats group has announced he will step down as a councillor this year.

Coun Bill Shannon, who has served on the council for 11 years, confirmed he will not be restanding in the May elections.

But the Ingol councillor said he wouldn’t be giving up his involvement in the community, and said he had enjoyed a “fantastic” three terms.

Coun Shannon, who lives in Fulwood, said: “I am 70 later this year, and I think you do have to draw a line.

“Obviously I’m not going to end my involvement in the community, I’m chair of Intact and I’m chair of governors at Ingol Community Primary School.”

Coun Shannon said that when he was elected, he intended to only serve two terms.

He said: “I’m not in any way knocking any of my colleagues, some of whom have been on the council for 30 years and more, but I do think you should shuffle the pack.”

Coun Shannon served throughout the Guild year as a Guild steward, and has also been chair of the audit committee, but said his main role was to be an “irritant” to the party in power.

He said: “I think that’s my main achievement, and the job of a back bench councillor is to scrutinise and call to account the cabinet and I like to think I’ve done that effectively.

“I think our job is to challenge in a positive and constructive way.”

He said the position could sometimes be frustrating, and said: “Because we are a minority group, we can win the argument but still lose the vote.”

Coun Shannon researches and writes papers in history after achieving a masters and PhD following his retirement, and he said he will now concentrate on more research and writing.

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